Whether you’re starting to consider investing in a waterfront property or you’ve just made an offer on some, you probably have some questions about buying a property on the water. Luckily, you’re not the first person that has questions. Here are some of the common questions that buyers have about waterfront properties along with answers from our experts:
What is a waterfront property?
This may seem like a crazy question, but with all of the different loopholes and tricky lingo in real estate, it’s best to make sure you have a clear understanding. While exact definitions could vary from state to state, waterfront property is generally a property that sits right on the water; it’s not a property that’s simply close to the water.
If you have to walk through someone else’s property to get to the water, then you’re not living on waterfront property. Waterfront properties can be located on any large body of water, including rivers, lakes, and oceans.
Is buying a waterfront property a good investment?
Generally speaking, waterfront properties are an excellent investment. Because they provide beautiful views and instant access to the water, they are often in high demand. This demand is not likely to diminish over the years since there are only so many waterfront properties available.
The only time that investing in a waterfront property may not be the best idea is if there’s massive flood risk or some other high risk of natural disaster. For this reason, lakefront properties tend to be a more predictable investment than those on the beach or even the river.
Is the property at risk for flooding?
That waterfront property sitting right on the lake or on the beach might seem like your dream home. That’s until hurricane season comes along and you find the water line quickly creeping up towards your home’s first floor. Not only could this be a potential issue that you simply don’t want to deal with, but if there is a risk of flooding, you’ll have to purchase extra homeowner’s insurance as well since flooding isn’t covered in basic policies. The higher the risk, the more you’ll end up having to pay.
If there is a risk of flooding and you buying land to build on, you’ll want to take several precautions to mitigate that risk, such as lifting the foundation up. If you’re buying an existing home, you’ll want to ask if there are any flood-prevention features built into the design or whether you’ll have to add them yourself.
What ownership rights are associated with waterfront properties?
When you buy a waterfront property, you are only buying the land in front of the water. You cannot own the water, nor the land below the water. This means that you may want to check the community rules and regulations as well as any local regulations if you are planning on building a pier out onto the water in front of your property.
Will the house withstand erosion?
If you’re buying an existing house on the waterfront, you’ll want to make sure that the materials used in the home’s construction will withstand the wear and tear of being so close to the water. It’s also important to understand the impact that coastal erosion may have on your property. In some cases, erosion can get so bad that the land can no longer be safely built on. In other situations, homes are at great risk of being destroyed due to erosion. Be sure to do your research before purchasing property on a shoreline.
Does the waterfront property have access to all the utilities you need?
This is a basic question that some buyers forget to ask because they just assume that all properties have access to the utilities they need. However, if you want to buy a waterfront property in a more rural area of the country, you may not have easy access to certain utilities, which means you may have to pay even more to get those services out to your property.
How much of the property will you own?
Just because a property is a “waterfront property,” does not necessarily mean that you’ll own all the land leading up to the water. Sometimes, waterfront properties may sit right by the water, but an area of land separating it and the water may be public – or maintained by an organization.
If this is the case, other people could end up hanging out right in front of your home. It also means that you may not be able to build that pier that you were planning on building, which is the last thing you’ll want to find out after you’ve already bought the land and begun construction on a new house.
Get educated when buying waterfront property
These are some of the questions you may want to ask before you invest in a waterfront property. For information about the waterfront properties available in our community, be sure to contact us at Chesdin Landing in Chesterfield, VA today.